The Ripple-Effect of Influence

I remember throwing rocks into creeks and skipping them across ponds as a young boy. My brother and I would often compete in trying to make the biggest splash and the farthest-reaching ripples in the water. It is amazing how wisdom speaks even in the woods, down by the creek and, of all places, right next to your kid brother.

It is easy for young ripplers to discern that the increasing breadth and length of a ripple is a direct result of the size of the object making the ripple and the force behind it. If God is the force behind the large faith-rock of your life, He can toss you higher than any other and cause you to make waves in the water of this world that will touch many lives.

Because God’s force is not forced upon anyone, He draws others to Himself often through the influence of a godly life – someone who is light in darkness and preserving salt in the midst of decay.

This world does not need someone walking in step with it – offering a cheap imitation of what it already has. People all around us need the influence of a life that is in step with God; walking in the steps of Christ and becoming more like Him (Ezekiel 36:23; Romans 8:29).

The opportunity to influence others stands on the shoulders of credibility. As others see honor and integrity in your life, they are more likely to listen to what you have to say. When they discern diligence and dedication, sacrifice and service, and concern and character, they may not agree with you, but they will respect you. They will know that you are a higher caliber (“Ten times better” – Daniel 1:20) and an extra miler. And, at some point, people listen to those they respect. Thus, the greatest tool you have to impact the world for Christ and the generations that follow is the influence of a godly life.

The Apostle Paul declared, “For to me to live is Christ.” Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift and giver. He came “to give His life a ransom for many.” If we will walk in the way of His wisdom, we will realize, “For to me to live is to give.”

Genuine living is about giving. We will never be fulfilled as takers. There will never be enough. True contentment will escape us. The way for our influence to live on after we die is to die to self-gain while we live. The life that gives now will gain then. God will bless you and others through that kind of life.

Therefore, do right. Do your best. Be wise in whom you allow to influence your life. Your influence will reflect their’s. Seek out influences who are going the way God wants you to go. “Get wisdom…exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour…a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee” (Proverbs 4:7-9).

More people listen to those who wear crowns than to those who do not.

–Tim Cruse

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